You may have come across Tin City when searching for things to do during your visit to California’s Central Coast, but weren’t quite sure what it was or whether it was worth including on your itinerary.

In this article we’ll explain a bit more about what Tin City is, why you should definitely make it a stop during your visit and how you can make it the perfect SLO CAL (San Luis Obispo County) day by including some other great local spots along the way.

Let’s dive in!

What Exactly is Tin City

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Tin City is described as a vibrant and unique industrial hub where friends, adventurers, and aficionados come together to partake in craft food, wine, beer, cider and spirits served up by Paso Robles' most passionate artisans.

What really makes this area so special is that it’s not just a collection of tasting rooms, but each location is where the craft producers bring their passion to life and actually produce their wine, beer, cider, spirits, pasta, etc.

In the same space as the tasting room, you’ll see fermentation tanks, barrels, presses, amphora pots, or you may see pasta being made with traditional Italian equipment. You’ll smell the fermentation and dodge forklifts. It’s an area that’s alive with creativity, passion, and community.

It’s also a place where you can drink 100-point wines or enjoy approachable wines meant to be enjoyed daily. You can eat at a Michelin starred restaurant or enjoy local pasta made fresh from wholesome ingredients surrounded by locals and visitors in a casual setting.

One thing is certain, no matter what your palate or price point, Tin City has something for everyone!

Things to Do in Tin City

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With over 40 businesses in Tin City, including two restaurants, as well as quality producers of premium wines, craft beer and cider, distilled spirits & cocktails, artisan ice cream, traditional pasta and so much more!

And with the area growing, soon guests will also find a coffee roaster, creamery, and bakery, for even more options.

Often you can find live music at local venues in Tin City such as Barrelhouse Brewery, Tin City Cider, ONX Wines, Hubba Wines or La Perdignus, or you may find other special events such as pairings and winemaker experiences.

With so much to see and do, visitors can find themselves coming back again and again, always trying something new – and always guaranteed to have a great time.

Plan Ahead - You May Need a Reservation

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While Tin City is a centralized hub of talented and passionate artisans, all located within a small geographical area, each of the businesses are separate and operate on their own terms.

This means that some places will happily host walk-ins, while others require reservations and some may offer a combination – where reservations are recommended, but they’ll host walk-ins if possible.

If you’re visiting Tin City with a group of 5 or more people, always be sure to contact the specific places you’re interested in visiting before arriving, since most wineries have limited space for larger parties.

Plan Where You're Going to Eat

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Etto Pasta Bar is an on-site restaurant that is open for lunch 7 days a week and offers delicious homemade pastas, sandwiches, salads and more. They also have great gluten free options! Or you can also grab delicious cheese & charcuterie as well as other delicacies from their Etto Pastificio traditional Italian Market.

Barrelhouse Brewery typically has a food truck on-site Thursday through Sundays. We recommend calling to confirm what's available during your visit. 

For a delicious treat, check out Negranti Creamery for delicious sheep milk ice cream and Sticky for handmade candy!

And if you plan to bring a picnic with you, be sure to check with the venues you’re planning to visit that they allow outside food.

Be sure to check out the Tin City Website to see an up-to-date list of vendors in the area, and try to narrow down which are going to be the best fit for you so you can plan your day.

Don't Know Where to Start?

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The best way to see Tin City is to take the Taste of Tin City Walking Tour with Toast Tours!

This is offered as a small group tour every Saturday from 10am – 1pm and is a great way to familiarize yourself with the area and sample some excellent local producers. If you’re coming on a different day of the week, or have a larger party, private tours can also be arranged - based on availability.

On your tour, a knowledgeable local guide will provide an overview of how Tin City got started, give interesting tidbits about the producers located there as well as guide you through the area as you visit awesome spots showcasing Tin City’s diversity and quality. This all-inclusive tour includes winery and distillery tastings and a family-style lunch. 

Once the tour finishes, your tour guide can recommend some other awesome places in Tin City to check-out, or you can explore other local spots in the area.

Other great SLOCAL spots to hit up before or after your Tin City adventure:

Breakfast at Apple Farm Inn in San Luis ObispoGrab Breakfast Before Visiting Tin City:

Be sure to grab a hearty breakfast and coffee before heading to Tin City, so you can indulge in the wine, beer, cider and spirits on a full stomach. Some favorites:

  • The NEST in Atascadero is a small-town cafe run by family and friends, with an extensive menu of creative dishes, breakfast favorites and lots of healthy options as well. They have lots of indoor & outdoor space, but do get busy on weekends.
  • Kitchenette in Templeton is a quaint breakfast spot in downtown Templeton that offers a variety of creative breakfast dishes made from fresh & local ingredients. They have a small space that fills up quickly.
  • AMSTRM Coffee House in Paso Robles is a locally owned downtown coffee shop that has a small but high-quality breakfast selection from 8am – 1pm and offers premium coffee drinks featuring local coffee roaster Spearhead for their quality coffee bean selection.
couple shopping at a local store in Paso RoblesAfter Your Visit to Tin City: 

Once you feel like you’ve explored Tin City to the fullest, you may be looking for other things to do nearby and luckily there are lots of great options!

Olive Oil Tasting

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About 15 minutes from Tin City, you have two excellent olive farms that offer educational tasting experiences:

Olea Farms enjoy a visit to their quaint and cozy tasting room where you will enjoy an intimate and education tasting of a wide selection of premium olive oils produced from their on-site orchard. The tastings also include a selection of excellent vinegars, and their tasting room offers lots of great body products and gifts.

Kiler Ridge Olive Farm – with stunning mountaintop views over their olive orchards and the beautiful Paso Robles countryside for as far as the eye can see, you’ll enjoy an educational & eye opening olive oil tasting from their tasting room & production facility.

Boutique Shopping

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If you’re looking to get some special gifts or a little something extra for yourself, then you can spend time wandering around downtown Paso Robles or Atascadero.

Both towns have vibrant downtowns with excellent boutique shops, wine bars, restaurants and more.

Grab a Delicious Dinner

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With all this sightseeing and tasting, you may have worked up an appetite! Luckily for you, there are plenty of excellent options just a short drive from Tin City.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company – also known as 805, this impressive brewery also has an excellent taproom where you can enjoy a delicious and hearty meal, while sampling from a selection of their well-known or more limited production brews.

Alchemists Garden in Paso Robles – visit this excellent restaurant and bar with a focus on creativity and community, offering excellent cuisines and craft cocktails in a lively yet intimate atmosphere.

McPhee’s Grill in Templeton – located in a converted old saloon where you may still find a horse tethered out front, they offer the perfect combination of country casual and contemporary sophistication. With a great selection of steak, seafood, and hearty mains, as well as a quality wine list, this is a great local favorite.

Cielo Restaurant & Rooftop Bar in Atascadero - an Italian-inspired concept, they have curated a distinct menu showcasing classic Italian dishes with a modern twist. Up on The Terrace Rooftop Bar, you can enjoy delicious cocktails and small bites overlooking the beautiful central coast.

Check Out Interactive Art at Sensorio

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Enjoy this immer­sive walk-through out­door exhib­it that includes multiple breathtaking exhibits – including:

Field of Light, which is a mul­ti-acre walk-through expe­ri­ence, Bruce Munro’s largest art­work in the world, recent­ly expand­ed to more than 100,000 stemmed spheres lit by fiber optics, gen­tly illu­mi­nat­ing the land­scape in sub­tle blooms of mor­ph­ing col­or that describe the undu­lat­ing land­scape;
Light Tow­ers cel­e­brates Paso Rob­les’ exten­sive wine coun­try envi­rons, fea­tur­ing 69 tow­ers com­posed of more than 17,000 wine bot­tles, illu­mi­nat­ed with glow­ing optic fibers whose col­ors morph to an inspir­ing musi­cal score;
Fire­flies, a whim­si­cal work made up of close to 10,000 flick­er­ing points of light;
Gone Fish­ing, a play­ful rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the con­tem­pla­tive act of stand­ing by a stream.

Live music, food, local wine, beer and dis­tilled spir­its are avail­able onsite dur­ing event hours. Hours of oper­a­tion are based on the sun­set time of each month, so be sure to plan ahead!

Look Forward to Seeing You in Tin City!

Whether you’ve been coming to Paso Robles wine country for years, or this will be your first visit, Tin City is a destination that you should definitely make part of your trip.

Pop in for a visit to one specific spot, or choose to spend an entire day there, there’s sure to be something to offer again and again.